BALTIMORE—Mike Wright paid the price for his awful performance against the Toronto Blue Jays. Earlier this month, Wright was sent down to Norfolk for a day without actually reporting, and given a reprieve because of an injury to Darren O’Day, did not get one this time.
He allowed eight runs in 3 2/3 innings and was sent to Norfolk after the game.
Ubaldo Jimenez, who was sent to the bullpen earlier this week after he imploded in Toronto, gave up five more in 2 1/3.
The Orioles lost 13-3 to the Blue Jays before 38,306 at Oriole Park on Friday night. The 13 runs were the most runs they’ve allowed in 2016.
Michael Saunders hit three home runs and drove in eight runs.
Yovani Gallardo will be activated from the disabled list on Saturday, and Wright was sent down to make room for him, and after the game manager Buck Showalter said that J.J. Hardy will be activated on Saturday as well.
With Manny Machado’s suspension coming soon, Showalter has several issues to solve.
“We have to make two spots tomorrow. At least two, maybe three. With Manny's looming departure it's tough to send out infielders and play with two guys on the bench, none of which are infielders. Pretty complicated. After each game, especially one like this, the chairs kind of move around,” Showalter said.
Jimenez has nearly a season-and-a-half remaining on the four-year, $50 million contract he signed in 2014.
While jettisoning Jimenez may be a popular move, the Orioles may not be ready for it yet. But, outings like Friday night may make it more palatable.
Besides, the Orioles may need another rested reliever, and Jimenez isn’t ready for regular relief work.
Wright (3-4) gave up three runs in a 37-pitch first inning. With one out, Josh Donaldson walked, Edwin Encarnacion singles, and l Saunders, who’s building a case as a possible All-Star, hit his first three run home run.
The first four Orioles (38-28) reached in the bottom of the first off Aaron Sanchez, but only one scored.
Adam Jones, Hyun Soo Kim and Manny Machado began the first with singles, and Jones scored. Chris Davis walked to load the bases, but Sanchez struck out Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez and got Jonathan Schoop on a grounder to short.
Donaldson hit his 17th home run in the third for a 4-1 Toronto (39-31) lead.
Trumbo’s RBI single made it 4-2 in the bottom of the third when Schoop’s pop to short right was caught by second baseman Darwin Barney who threw Machado out at the plate trying to score.
Showalter challenged the call, saying that Toronto’s Russell Martin had blocked the plate, but the call was upheld.
“That's not what beat us. We had some opportunities early in the game to score a lot of runs. Sanchez always had a strikeout there waiting. We got it back to 3-1 in two innings and didn't get much,” Showalter said.
Wright’s assignment ended in a seven-run fourth, the most runs the Orioles have allowed in any inning this season.
“I’m working harder than ever. When you’re working hard, and get those results, it’s tough,” Wright said.
Wright said that getting two bad starts after a good one after his temporary reprieve was difficult.
“Absolutely. That’s when the hard work started. Got really good results at first and then ran into the Blue Jays twice,” Wright said.
“I threw some good pitches, threw some bad pitches. They hit them both.”
Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer, and after Wright hit Ezequiel Carrera with a pitch, Jimenez replaced him and gave up a two-run triple to Donaldson, and Toronto had an 8-2 lead.
Jimenez gave up Saunders’ second three-run home run of the evening, and the Orioles trailed by nine.
Saunders hit a two-run home run off Jimenez in the sixth. He has 15 this season.
“He was equipped to throw 100 pitches tonight and we were hoping,” Showalter said. Jimenez threw 62.
Sanchez (6-2) allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings. The Orioles made 17 consecutive outs before Ryan Flaherty hit his second home run of the year with two outs in the ninth.
NOTES: Davis has been named the Race Ambassador for the Casey Cares 5K Run/Walk to be held here on Aug. 6. He replaces Brian Matusz. … R.A. Dickey (4-7, 4.16) faces Gallardo (1-1, 7.00) on Saturday at 4:05 p.m.